Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 12

editorial
Is the conversation over ... or just getting started?

T

The other day my kid told me that since school and sports
were canceled, there's nothing left to talk about. For a
10-year-old boy, that's not an exaggeration. And to be
honest, I can relate ... I can't remember the last time I had
a conversation that wasn't veiled with the pandemic.
It's been nearly three months since "normal" became a
thing of the past. And I doubt we'll use that word without "new" in front of it for the foreseeable future. It has
changed our industry in so many ways, from how the
plants are run to how we conduct business in general. At
Baking & Snack, our editorial content - much of which
was planned long before COVID-19 - has been turned
on its head.
Take this month's special report on consumer mythbusting. Originally intended to shed light on common
misconceptions about baked goods, this piece morphed
into an exercise for Dan Malovany to discover how
the pandemic has reshaped consumer behaviors
and attitudes toward commercially produced
baked goods and snacks.
Remember when pan bread was dead and
flour consumption hit a record low? That was
so 2019. Between stay-at-home orders and
school closings, sandwiches are getting the
most attention they've seen since Joey Tribiani
extolled their virtues on an episode of Friends in
the 1990s. As a working-mom-turned-lunch-lady, I
can say I've really upped my sandwich game in the past
10 weeks.
Snacking is another area that's thriving in this environ-

PUBLISHING STAFF
Publisher
Paul Lattan
Publisher Emeritus
Mike Gude
Associate Publisher
Steve Berne
Director of Audience Development Michael Barbee
Audience Development Analyst
Dustin Pickman
Audience Database Specialist
Lindsey Sheridan
Audience Development Coordinator Carlea Schuler
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12 Baking & Snack June 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

Editor
Editorial Director
Managing Editor
Senior Editor
Digital Media Editor
Contributing Editors:

EDITORIAL

ment. Mr. Malovany cited the IRI data to support that,
but I've seen it in action at the store with carts full of pretzels, RTE popcorn and cookies ... so many cookies. Okay,
I might be referring to my own cart. I blame it on my husband and son when I'm at the checkout, but the reality is
that my home office is now known around these parts as
"the snack hole."
The consumer love affair with snacking has also helped
Ditsch USA as it shifted its production from soft pretzels
for foodservice to flowwrapped snack pretzels and similar items for c-stores and other retail outlets. (Check out
Nico Roesler's logistics feature in the May issue to see how
other baking companies made similar strategic moves.)
As luck would have it, Ditsch USA had just completed
some major expansions that allowed operations to seamlessly support the shift. President Gary Gottenbusch
walked Mr. Malovany through the whole scenario in this
month's cover story. He also shared his prediction for
what the future will look like as people want more artisan
food with fewer hands touching it. (I'll give you a hint:
Ditsch USA invested wisely.)
So, what does the future look like for you? How has the
pandemic altered your conversations and your views of
normal? Have you discovered new truths hiding beneath
misconceptions about your consumer base, your operations or even your workforce?
At times, it may feel like there's nothing left to talk
about ... but maybe the conversation's just getting started.
- Joanie Spencer, editor
jspencer@sosland.com

Joanie Spencer
Dan Malovany
Nico Roesler
Charlotte Atchley
Anna Wiber
Donna Berry
M. Hikmet Boyacıoglu

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Baking & Snack - June 2020

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